Minimalism is quickly picking up pace these days. I’m sure I’m not the only one that binge watched Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix after it came out. As she says, there’s just something that “sparks joy” when you have less to worry about. In a way, tidying up directly correlates with productivity. So here are my minimalist lifestyle tips to increase productivity.
Get Rid of the Clutter
If you’re anything like me, clutter weighs on your mind. All day long I have a list of about 30 things that I would absolutely love to get done by the end of the day. Unfortunately, this means that I have 30 things weighing down my productivity all day long.
Imagine you’re at work at your computer, and you open up a new tab online. You are about the visit a website that is going to help you get one of your biggest tasks for the day done. BUT you also have 30 other tabs open. So, you have your #1 tab, but you keep looking at other tabs and thinking “oh I better click back over to this to keep reading this blog” or “I better just go back to this one to see if I can find that back pillow on Amazon.” At what point are you going to accomplish your main goal for that day?
This isn’t to say that you won’t accomplish that goal, it’s just saying that it may take so much longer to accomplish that goal. What if you could close out at least 20 of those tabs. In a way, your home, and your work space, is your daily internet browser, and you just can’t have that many tabs open if you want to be truly productive. It may take a couple weeks but you have to close out some of those tabs, so you can focus on better tasks without so much stress.
Clear out the clutter one mess at a time. Make piles and different categories and go to work. One pile of all of your clothes, one pile for each room: kitchen, living room, bedrooms, papers/office, etc. One thing I learned from Rachel Jones, The Joyful Space Specialist is when it comes to decluttering, you have to go big. This means you shouldn’t go easy on your giant pile of stuff. Begin the process of getting rid of things you don’t use regularly, things that are not useful to you, and just keep going. You’ll be surprised how light you’ll feel when this process is over.
Focus on Key Tasks
Minimalism is also a mindset. It’s more than decluttering your physical things, it’s declittering your to-do list as well. Most of this comes along with decluttering your home because you’ll find that with less possession comes less chores.
When it comes to your daily tasks, try not to accomplish everything in one day. Focus on key tasks for that day. This means choosing one day per week when you will sit down and go over your planner for the week. Try to give yourself two big tasks for each day, a couple daily tasks, and just a few minor tasks (I.e. put out one tweet for your business, pin five ideas to your productivity board on Pinterest throughout the day, etc.) If you can, get the daily tasks out of the way first thing in the morning, for instance a quick journal entry, a work out, or responding to emails. Then tackle the big tasks like going through a list of work calls, completing a work project, or writing a blog post or two. Then go for those minor tasks. When you minimize your tasks list every day, you are able to devote more time to quality, to yourself, and to the ones you love.
Here’s a tip: include some sort of self care or “me time” in those major tasks. Being productive includes not making yourself run on fumes.
Minimize Your Daily Routine
Speaking of self-care, let’s talk about our daily routines. Now, at first glance, you may start to think that this is directed only at women. It’s not. Yes, I’m going to touch on makeup, but it’s more than that. Some people just have makeup as part of their daily routine. Let’s get makeup out of the way.
This was me before I decided to join the minimalist club: I would buy makeup because it looked “interesting,” probably because I had just seen some Instagram video of someone applying the same piece of makeup oh-so-perfectly. Next thing I know, I have a sparkly blush, two extra concealers, and two diff colors of eyeliner all part of my collection. I use none of it. The thing is, I’m not one of those skilled makeup artists, and I thought I’d just save that makeup for a special occasion, but the special occasion comes and I don’t know exactly how to use it, it becomes a mess.
Moral of the story is if you’re not someone who is going to go through the whole 30-step process for your daily look, just keep it to a minimum. Don’t buy that extra stuff, and keep it to the few things that you will use. Imagine how much time you’ll save if you keep that part of your routine to a minimum. Personally, I prime, put foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and use the same stick for my cheeks and my lips, done deal.
What about your morning routine. How many face washes, moisturizers, masks, scrubs, I can go on and on. The occasional mask is good, but why own 20 when you don’t use a mask every day? Declutter all the extra toiletries taking up space in your bathroom. Keep your daily routine simple, don’t keep so many extra bells and whistles if you’re hardly going to use them. What if your morning routine could be a quick 10 minutes, including makeup? What else would you have time for?
Avoiding “Shiny Object Syndrome”
I like to consider myself an entrepreneur, and I see a rise in the entrepreneur spirit in our day. Everyone is trying to better themselves, work for themselves, gain freedom and a work/life balance. That is amazing! And there’s room for all of up here. But you will never achieve your ultimate goal if you are constantly distracted with the “next big promise.”
Now you’re asking “what does this have to do with Minimalism?” Quite a bit. First, let me give you an example of shiny object syndrome. You decided that you wanted to make money online, you go on Google and say “hey Google, How do I make money online?” Google says, “here’s a bunch of people that think they know the best way to do that, pick one.” But you’re reading through all these pages claiming “this is the step by step action plan to make $10k in two months.” And you are thinking that’s incredible and you want to get in on that.
Now, you’ve signed up, you’re getting emails and your about to invest in their course, but at the top of your email there’s a little banner that says “don’t take any other course, I’m going to tell you how I made 15k in two months selling courses.” You’re impressed, you click, you sign up and you get more emails. On their website you see another ad, and all of a sudden ads are popping up on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. At this point, you’ve opted into ten different email lists, and you don’t know who is really going to lead you to success.
How much time have you wasted on these people up to this point? Too much. All you want is to start working towards your goal, but at this point you’re further behind, possibly even out some money. Minimalism, once again, is your mindset. My advice is this: stay away from the “new kids on the block.” These are people that are new to the scene of paid training. Free training? Sure, get as much as you want, but if someone is asking you to pay them so they can give you their “ultimate formula to making money,” see to it that they have years under their belt, and are established in this world. Do your due diligence and research them. Find one training, and stick to that one.
I enjoy the training I get because the owners have almost 14 years of experience, they’ve built this incredible online empire complete with a unique community of entrepreneurs. I know that this isn’t the only training I’ll need to build an online business. This saves me so much time because I don’t bother looking at all the ads that cross my path, more time to accomplish my key tasks.
Make your first pile and get to work. To get started, I suggest this Jumpstart to Declutter Your Home. Once you have the weight of your cluttered home, get to work on your goals. Maybe start training by my side to work on our online businesses, and let’s be more productive. What do you look forward to in your new minimalist lifestyle?